Shock Therapy: Would Sinead O'Connor Still Cause An Uproar?
Sunday night is a special night. It's the 18th anniversary of Sinead O'Connor's infamous Pope-a-ripping on Saturday Night Live. For the extremely small number of you who somehow have the Internet but not VH1, the facts are these: O'Connor, always the most peaceable and least controversial of performers, ripped up a photo of the Pope while singing the world "evil" then said, "Fight the real enemy."
And this wasn't our current Palpatine-esque Pope either. This was the previous guy, who most people sort of got along with. Or not. Rocks Off doesn't know. We were worshipping Satan around that time.
Many, many people pooped themselves. With anger.
NBC refused to rebroadcast the incident, and O'Connor got booed off the stage two weeks later at a Bob Dylan tribute concert. Apparently pissing people off pisses people off. Still, as late as 2002, O'Connor said she wouldn't change what she did if she could. Points to her for having a bigger set of testicles than most.
The whole thing kind of makes us wish Kanye had interrupted O'Connor at the VMAs instead. We've always wanted to see someone beaten to death with a Moon Man.
Here's a question for all you readers out there currently picturing that violent act with a sublime grin pasted on your mug. Why was what O'Connor did so damn shocking?
Three months ago, half of this fairly conservative metropolis paid through the nose to watch Lady Gaga writhe in a puddle of blood from a fountain topped with a flaming Jesus, and almost rioted in unanimous jubilation. People stood, and screamed, and applauded until their hands were redder than communion wine. Did Rocks Off miss a meeting, or something? Why aren't you people writing angry letters?
Marco Torres Lady Gaga at Toyota Center, July 25, 2010
Some have postulated that time passed is a factor. After all, wearing the flag as clothing used to be one of those things that got you in major trouble. Abbie Hoffman wore one on TV in 1968 and the networks blurred it out. Now, it's nothing at all, though it's technically against the law.
The U.S. Flag Code is Federal law, and does prohibit using the flag as apparel or bedding, but there are no penalties for breaking the code. George W. Bush broke it by signing an autograph on the flag. Kid Rock wore one as a cape at a certain football game in 2004. Which brings us to...
The best moment comparable to what O'Connor did remains the day that Janet Jackson's nipple hit the Houston air in an alleged wardrobe malfunction during halftime of the Super Series or the World Bowl, or whatever the hell you people call the end of that glorified rugby crap.
Brief aside: Malfunctions are reserved for Johnny 5 and the security bots from Chopping Mall. Please don't cheapen the word just because you can't keep your milkshake out of the yard. End aside.
They called it Nipplegate, and actually compared it to a diabolical and criminal cover-up by the chief executive of the state. Just as many if not more pampers were pooped... over a nipple.